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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased in December, following a modest improvement in November. The Index now stands at 122.1 (1985=100), down from 128.6 in November. The Present Situation Index increased from 154.9 to 156.6, while the Expectations Index declined from 111.0 last month to 99.1 this month.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was December 15.
“Consumer confidence retreated in December after reaching a 17-year high in November,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “The decline in confidence was fueled by a somewhat less optimistic outlook for business and job prospects in the coming months. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, however, improved moderately. Despite the decline in confidence, consumers’ expectations remain at historically strong levels, suggesting economic growth will continue well into 2018.”
Consumers’ appraisal of present-day conditions was slightly more positive in December. The%age saying business conditions are “good” increased marginally from 35.0% to 35.2%, while those saying business conditions are “bad” decreased marginally, from 12.3% to 12.1%. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was mixed. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased from 37.5% to 35.7%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” also decreased, from 16.8% to 15.2% (a 16-year low).
Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook declined sharply in December. The%age of consumers anticipating business conditions to improve over the next six months declined from 23.1% to 20.2%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen increased from 6.7% to 9.2%.
Consumers’ outlook for the job market was also less upbeat than in November. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead decreased from 21.3% to 18.4%, while those anticipating fewer jobs rose from 12.1% to 16.3%. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the%age of consumers expecting an improvement increased from 20.3% to 22.3%, while the proportion expecting a decrease also rose, from 7.6% to 8.9%.
About The Conference Board
The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. Winner of the Consensus Economics 2016 Forecast Accuracy Award (U.S.), The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.
Nielsen Holdings plc is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen's Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services for all devices on which content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry's only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen also provides its clients with analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population.